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17 March 2009

Growing Up, Letting Go

Remember when you were a kid and the thing you wanted the most in the world was to be "grown up?" Now that you're "grown up," are there not some days when you wish you were a kid again? Is there something bothering you that would have never crossed your mind as a kid? Try and put a little bit of "kid" in your day every day, and see how your outlook changes. (written 8 May 2008)

Before you get all technical and tell me that a young human is not a kid but a child, please understand that I am fully aware of that fact. And if that thought actually crossed your mind, maybe you need to be more of a "kid". I am by no means advocating the total forfeiture of responsibility nor the dissolution of adult behavior. We did not, after all, make it to this point in our lives by acting immaturely and irresponsibly (most of us, anyway).

I was blessed to have a childhood similar to that of Beaver Cleaver. No, my mom didn't clean house (or do anything else for that matter) wearing heels, pearls and a dress. It was not perfect, by any means, but I knew without a doubt that my siblings and I were loved and appreciated for the individuals we were. My parents were my biggest cheerleaders, each in their own way. The life lessons I learned from them have done much to shape the woman that I have become.

Losing daddy last year was a wake up call. While his passing cut a deep hole in me that will never be filled, I have learned even more about myself in the eleven months since. Losing someone close to you affects everyone in a different way. I chose to make a concentrated effort to focus on his life, and the blessings that I received from it. My daddy was not a perfect man, but he was a wonderful daddy. He was a source of strength that I knew I could depend on, no matter the time, no matter the reason.

What is one thing I remember most about daddy? His smile. He had this grin that just made you want to smile, even if you didn't feel like it. Why? Because he truly enjoyed life. He put a little bit of "kid" in life, taking time to stop and smell the roses along the way. He learned, and in return taught me, that you have to appreciate what you have instead of focusing on what you don't. He taught me that what is important is the people you love, and that you have to let go of the past.

We have all been hurt in some way in our past. You may have pain now. While I cannot promise that all your pain will disappear, I can promise you this: let go of the hurt and you will see a difference. What someone did to hurt you cannot evaporate with a 'platitude', but your forgiveness eases your pain. Hurt shapes us, it does not have to be our source of strength. Learn from the pain, then let it go. Don't let it fester inside you and taint everything you see and feel. Are your feelings hurt? Guess what? You'll get over it. You can look at the positive, or you can focus on the negative. I know that since I started focusing on the positive that my life has changed for the better. I am going to dance to the music, sing too loud, and stomp in the mud puddles because I can ... and because acting like a kid sometimes doesn't make me any less of an adult.

Jesus, thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for showing me joy, and helping me to focus on the positive. Help me to be the positive role model to my children and to my grandchild that my daddy was for me. Help me to see the positive in every day, and to never lose sight of my blessings.

"Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." ~Matthew 19:14 NIV

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